Category: Ranch Life

THE LONGNECK LOB

THINGS I DID, BUT DON’T RECOMMEND
#233 – THE LONGNECK LOB

In Saskatchewan
there aren’t many games
you can play outdoors all year

A favorite of our prairie youth
was tossing bottles at roadside signs

It’s not as simple as it sounds
there’s height and speed and distance
added degree of difficulty for the driver
left handed over roof one eye on the road

All in the wrist at 60 miles per hour

Let it fly forty feet before the sign
with just enough oomph and arc
to float to shattering conclusion
and cheers and beers all round

There is still some question
as to whether aim improved
as time and beer went by

TECHNOLOGY

TECHNOLOGY

The day breathed in
and the day breathed out

After lunch my father took a nap
– the horses had to rest

By supper time they were fed
fed and brushed and thanked

And then the tractors came
– and tractors do not nap

Not content with that small theft
they soon grew lights and stole the dark

He fed them gas, they pulled the plow

But not once, one to the other
did they ever speak of love

PULLING PIPE

PULLING PIPE

Trouble down the well

and me, my dad, and my brothers
are Texas roughnecks
pulling spinning and stacking pipe
pipe and rod and “Careful dammit!
If you drop that rod the well is shot”

We’re Red Adair, fighting a fire
we’re wet and muddy and cold and mad
and we’ve got to get it done by dark

The gold down there’s not black but red
an iron rich sea hiding away
from the pulling power of the prairie sun

Looking back fifty years from a poet’s perch

I pull
spin and stack
metaphor and meaning

Back then it was just men
doing what they had to do
and white faced cattle waiting

MATH

MATH

If a train leaves Moose Jaw
heading west at the speed of first memory

Engine, cars, and caboose
zebraing by behind a snowfence
smoke billowing back over its shoulder

And another leaves, traveling east
from my writing of it now

When will they meet
at the small town of Courval
and your reading of the page